Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute sharing concerns of three Asian giants China , Pakistan and India. This territorial dispute is most reflected in Indian occupied Kashmir. The instrument of accession and the events followed thereafter eroded the initial agreement of Plebcite. Although UNSC resolved the dislute in accordance with UN supervised Plebiscite but the non seriousness of Indian establishment in Delhi has subverted whole story to another extreme end. The initial war in 1947 paved way to separation of POK from Indian control and the capturing of Aksai Chin reduced the territory under Indian hands to mere 45% of required area. What lies at the core of matter is the Breach of trust and promise at the hands of indian establishment. P M Nehru offered Plebiscite internally in Lal Choke and externally on UNSC platform which are yet materialise. The armed struggle wage in later 90’s is the manifestation of this arrogance by subsequent central governments to not accord due respect to UNSC’s back to back resolutions. This struggle intensified in 90’s decade and took thousands of innocent civilians.
Kashmir is a story of paradoxes. On the one hand we are replete with story of innocent killings on the history of indian connection while as the political parties playing on the sacred blood of innocent Kashmiris. Wholly armed struggle waged through cross border support brought slow and steady consciousness about evils of indian colonialiam. They fought for the cause of independence and won the heart and soul of kashmiris.This track remained constant until recent induction of domestic support. As for as supplies of men in uniform and weaponry are concerned the struggle took support from other corridors. However the whole story was dramatically reversed after 2010 civilian killings. Army establishment wreak havoc through open firing on peaceful protesters. Before this episode individual heroics remained strategic aspect and planning of armed struggle. Armed movement in this phase succeeded through cross border support. Areal and spatial extent of movement remained largely confined to rural areas. Its main contenders as per official reports were on the backdrop of poverty and unemployment. This notion survived until 2010 protests. Year of 2010 acted breakwater to storm. It was a watershed year which transformed whole armed tactics from supply of men and weaponry. This ideological orientation and intensified at the hands of infamous extremist commander Burhan Muzafer wani.
The post 2016 phase paved way to mass support. This phase is driven largely driven by support of commoners. A new and innovative style of establishing ample faith in extremism took the background support to newer heights. Militants use to be glorified as heros. They are being hailed as saviours of kashmiri Quom and their religion. Therefore the movement took a complete U-turn after 2016. Besides this a new trend witnessed in present context is large number of civilian killings. The innocent people are Martyred in the streets of Kashmir in broad sunlight. It is evolving as common norm of kashmir. The statistics of counter operations are worrisome when an unbiased assessment is carried out. Initial three months of present year proved tragedy. At least 17 civilians have been matyred so far. It was the black day of IST April when whole world was busy in April Fool ceremonies and the Kashmir mourning the death of 17 persons with 4 civilians. The fact of the matter being that all militants were natives of south kashmir. Over and above they were barley between 15 and 20 years of age. Where’s Kashmir heading? Is the cycle going to stop somewhere? Isn’t there a need to take a pause and think ? Is operation all out justified? . Thenceforth khudwani incident went a step further away with share four more civilians including a minor from Melhura shopian. The April brought an emphatic and magnified tragedy for south kashmir. It seperated a fertile magic and inspiring number from the daily life of kashmir. The follow on protests fired upon by Bullets and pellets wounded a huge figure and left some out of eyesight. Is the Kashmir turning towards those horrific 90’s?
This cycle of violence seems unending. The process has no backward looking plan. This phase is going on with active involvement of masses. The civilians are tortured , maimmed , fired with Bullets and pellets indiscriminately etc. The use of PAVA shells and pellets has brought the outrage to newer heights. The indiscriminate use of bullets during civilian protests is unacceptable to human rights centered democracy.The permanent shut down of colleges and institutions of excellence is another troubling thing of present situation. The news of civilian killings spreads in blink of eye. It catches the whole valley unawares and siphons away the business engagement in streets in quickiest way. The whole system stops functioning and reminds the life style of Indus valley people. Internet is barred and every activity comes to halt. The protests are organised and the last rites ceremonies at times fails to keep anger and went to extreme steps. In this way more people are injuried and killed and the cycle goes on . Concluding to say the April entry brought widespread consequences in Kashmir struggle and took the security agencies to task. Kulgam incident went much beyond the normal routine and impacted mentality at highest level. Even Army chief stated in unexpected manner after these episodes. “”Neither forces nor militants can achieve there goal in kashmir: Gen Rawat”. What led Mr Rawat to believe that “ Operation All Out” is yet to be successful despite huge statistics of militants killed. It might be because of these young innocent people which led Rawat to change the narrative. Is it the rising trend civilians being killed and militants escaping the mishap?
The atmosphere of Kashmir is filled with awe and war like conditions. Everything seems blurred ,the vision ,the future ,the education ,the career ,the economy,the state and above all the safety of life and property seems in danger. It’s the south kashmir which face severe brunt at the hands of agitation. The civilian population is in stress and begging for their live and the saftey of their kids. The rampage went mad in April and took a heavy toll in form of aspiring youth. To cite if it may a militant case. What compels a youth barely 15 years of age to pick up a gun is a serious concern. Whole Kashmir awaits the reply of these comments. Is the establishment in Delhi serious now after Army chiefs comments. Is the political leadership ready to look beyond politics now? Isn’t bloodshed of millions sufficient to solve the internationally recognised dispute? The whole hearted approach towards Kashmir is to solve the core of dispute in accordance with international standards with active involvement of Kashmiris. The cycle of civilian killings should stop now. It’s a message from whole local community that “we dreamt a future with budding seeds flourishing before eyesight like all other civilised societies”. Kashmir is in a state of mistrust and fear. Cordon and search operations , harrasment , pellet victims etc is the story. The story of Insha Mushtaq pierces the heart when dignity and morale of women is taken into account. Certainly the April arrival refreshed once again the harsh memories when 35 bullet injuries were reported on the very initial week. Everywhere the commoners mourned and an air of remorse filled the stories of families of killed persons. It brought an unforgettable tragedy to local people in valley. The fragrance and spring calm was siphoned away through gun shots.
The post 2016 period refreshes ninety one memories with a slight perversion. The extremist but innovative way helping militants to escape is a horrific trend. Although administration shuts down the internet immediately but the accumulation of huge number at encounter cites is an expected outcome in kashmir. Such is the gravity of ground situation that one by one statistics comes out. To each militant or so their occurs the martyrdom of civilian. With each passing day the normal life is emerging a day today struggle. Past two months have witnessed complete closure of educational institutions in weekends. Once the plan of opening educational institutions comes to fore the students turns out to on roads and streets demanding investigation and punishment to culprits. The daily atmosphere has disturbed fertile mentality of youth. On one side creamy young ones are killed while on the other those able to live are barred from education. Common belief in the valley is about rising alienation and repeated human rights violations. it’s held that locality is fed up with massacre now and the solution seems blurred. Mainstream leaders in state and country are failing to fulfill the promise. And the growing strength of boots on ground is creating frustration and chaos in the minds of commoners. The rising incidence of civilian army contact is reflection of the disturbance. The whole scenario is magnified by social media in a vibrant manner. Civilians and often militants are hailed as hero’s and warriors. They are accepted as saviours of people and their religion. This is the true picture of the valley. The government in Delhi shouldn’t be repulsive as it remained to be. The inflexion point of deep alienation has shown it’s real face. There’s a need to take war footing reconciliatory steps or the tragedy may befallen in bleak manner. The cycle of killings can never be justified in the human rights Constitution of country. Earlier efforts in the form of dialogue partners in 2010 and Dineshwar sharma in present context isn’t going to take the matter much forward. The need of hour is to resolve the issue not to pacify the prevaling cycle of violence. History has proved the outburst of intact anger and mistrust coming with revolutionary force later if got unnoticed and unresolved. No country like india can be blind to history if one’s own is replete with nip and tuck stories. The game of 7 lakh boots on ground needs rethinking. This contingent needs to be utilised for border protection. A simple but committed reconciliatory effort of central government is sufficient to solve the dispute in eternity. The extremist attitude of both corners isn’t going to solve unless widely discussed around table through reconciliation. The present scenario reminds “Absence of peace is war but absence of war doesn’t signify peace”. Reality of Kashmir is far different from coverage of incidents. The reality is that Kashmir is a dispute which needs an absolute solution once for all otherwise no strategy would be successful howsoever startegic that may be.
Shakoor mushtaq can be reached at shakoormush[email protected]